Sources for the Soul

Sometimes you need a little push, a little something to make life a little more beautiful. this comes through pictures we see, words we read, and music we listen to. Here are some sources that have made a life a bit more beautiful for me.


Shauna Niequest

In high school I started reading books by Shauna Niequest. Her love for food and simplicity strikes a chord in my heart for hospitality. The way she crafts life with words moves you.

She just released a new book: Present Over Perfect. And check out Shauna’s blog.

Anne Voskamp

For years I have been keeping a continual list of little gifts God has given me. Anne Voskamp is the one who taught me the healing powers of gratitude.

Learn lifestyle gratitude with One Thousand Gifts, watch Anne speak at Q Idea, and check out her blog.

Bob Goff

Bob Goff lives his life large with love. He has many incredible and whimsical stories about his life adventures. He always puts a smile on my face.

Check out Love Does and Bob’s nonprofit organization, Restore International.

Corrie ten Boom

Voices of old have a special ring to them that can really get your creative gears cranking. Much of Corrie Ten Boom’s life has inspired my dreams of opening up a bed and breakfast.

Get some wisdom with her books: The Hiding Place, In My father’s House, and I Stand at the Door and Knock.

C.S. Lewis

This quote sums up C.S. Lewis, “Hardship often prepares ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”

Some of my favorite books by Lewis are Till We Have faces, Mere Christianity, and The Great Divorce.



Sleeping at Last

Ryan O’Neal artistically puts together beats and eloquently writes his songs. For years I have listened to his music on repeat. One time I listened to an interview he did and he said that he doesn’t put god into his music or take God out of his music. I appreciate that.

His website is lovely and here are some of my favorite songs: Saturn, Next to Me, Touch, Son, and Emphasis.

Relient K

In seventh grade I saw Relient K in Cincinnati. Eight years later I saw them in Nashville during their mmhmm anniversary tour. As time has gone by their music lyrics have changed meaning for me while their sound has transformed from punk to indie pop.

Here are some good running and thinking songs: Collapsible Lung, Air for Free, Forget and Not Slow Down, Be My Escape, and Jefferson Aeroplane.

Also, take a gander at their website.

Ben Sollee

He is a singing cellist from Louisville Kentucky. You just can’t get cooler than that. His music is unprecedented and his lyrics remind me of my home.

Learn more about him on his website. For a jazzy mood, listen to: The Healer, Electrified, Steeples, Hurting, and The Globe

Alexi Murdoch

Organic and deep, that is what Alexi Murdoch is. His Lyrics have carried me through many seasons of life.

Check out his intriguing website and his songs The Light, Orange Sky, and Song for You.

Mumford and Sons

Mumford and Sons has always been known for their banjos, but recently they have changed their sound. I appreciate artists that switch things up. That takes a lot of courage and creativity.

Lately I have been listening to Johannesburg album. Look at their website here.

Ted talks

The power of vulnerability

Brene Brown is  a social worker who has spent years of her life studying empathy, belonging, love, and the wonders of vulnerability. In a culture where failing is not an option, this talk gives new perspective and new inspiration on what it means to not have it all together.

Love letters to strangers

Hannah Brencher used letter writing as a way to cope with depression. She planted these letters across the city of new york and started a movement of writing encouraging letters to strangers. As a letter writer, I love how she reawakens the magic of letter writing.

How Airbnb designs for trust

Many people would love to travel the world and Airbnb has made it affordable and more enriching. Joe Gebbia, the co-founder of Airbnb discusses how the company was built on the concept of community and trusting strangers. It is a dream for hosts and a dream for travellers.

Your body language shapes who you are

Words are powerful, but Amy Cuddy proves that nonverbal language can be just as powerful. When we stand like superman before a speech, the chemicals in our brain actually change. Simply sitting in a different way can affect your feelings.

Beats that defy boxes

If you need a little entertainment, then Reggis Watts is your man. He has an incredibly range in his voice that allows him to make all sorts of sounds and accents. It is quite stunning and comical all at the same time.



This movie carried me through high school. It is a quirky story about a pig nosed girl that delivers a message every girl needs to hear.

Secret Life of Walter Mitty

This movie has stunning cinematography and a chill soundtrack. If you can’t climb Mount Kilimanjaro, but you need a bit of wonder, then this is your movie.

Imitation Game

This movie retells the story of Alan Turing and his role in cracking the enigma code during World War II. It is a moving story, however you may need a tissue or two.


This movie is a must see for entrepeneurs. One women let determination carry her to produce a self-ringing mop. It is a movie that will make you want to act on your invention.

To Kill a Mocking Bird

This movie is a rendition of a classic book. While the book is amazing, the movie does a good job of delivering the themes the book explores. The black and white film also contributes to the experience, making it all the better. 


Here are a few instagrams with one of a kind photos and inspiring messages.

National Geographic: @natgeo

Cincinnati zoo: @cincinnatizoo

International House of Prayer: @ihopkc

Katie Mcknoulty: @thetravellinglight

Andrew Knapp: @andrewknapp

Julie Lee: @julielee